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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  October 12, 2009 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT

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[ gunfire ] >> firefight. as the white house decides on sending more troops to afghanistan, a frightening new report about possible weapons failure. are u.s. forces on the front lines armed with less than the best? untrue, disingenuous hatchet jobs, the stern reaction to a new industry attack on health care reform. will it scare away critical votes? gay rights activists spend the weekend criticizing the white house for inaction on gay rights but would it be different under a republican? and the leader of the ditto heads but does he lead the republican party? rush limbaugh answers that question. >> they are saying you are ruining the republican party. okay. your turn. >> oh, you're through? >> well, there you have it. good afternoon, i'm contessa brewer, a lot more from rush
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limbaugh coming up. first, breaking news coming to us from philadelphia, a few blocks from rittenhouse square. a crane collapsed sending two workers to the hospital. the fire department tells our nbc station there, nbc 10, that they were -- that they are believed to be construction workers and both believed to be in critical condition. this happened pataki -- the collapse happened at 21st and walnut in center city. and again two people being sent to the hospital. the accident happened just an hour ago. the crane apparently hit a flower shop and an apartment building. this was a mobile crane that can move, as you can see, from place to place, laying on its side. these are the kind that have wheels on the bottom and apparently fell right over. the construction worker who apparently was in the crane fell 125 feet and again, has been sent to the hospital. when we learn more information about this crepe collapse, you can see there, looks like it this intersection now just scat weird that debris from the fa fallen crane. we get more information here from wcau, we certainly will
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pass it along. big story we are following this hour the insurance companies launched a surprise attack against health care reform today. a new report from one of the nation's biggest insurance lobbies says the finance committee's bill would increase health costs up to 111% over the next ten years. under the current system, costs would only go up 79%. only. dr. nancy snyderman talked to a spokesperson for ahip, the group that released the report. >> american people, employers across the country have all said that costs are their number one concern. and that's what we have to get at with health care reform. unfortunately, several of these provisions are going to have the opposite effect. >> again, the report from price waterhouse coopers but sponsored, paid for by the insurance industry and the timing being questioned because the senate finance committee votes tomorrow on this particular legislation. let's go to nbc's kelly o'donnell on capitol hill. what's the reaction here from lawmakers and i guess the white
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house as well? >> well, contessa, as you would expect this is news that democrats here in congress and at the white house did not want to hear and they have come out swinging with some pretty strong words, really pulling apart what this report suggests, saying it is untrue, disingenuous, that it's cherry-picking. what they mean by that is that democrats say that the study done by the health insurance lobby through an outside company it hired doesn't look at things that they believe are in the bill that could, in fact, improve costs, lower costs over time, things like tax credits that could make health care more affordable or limiting waste, fraud and abuse that exists in the system today. those are a couple of examples. but on the other side, the health insurance lobby says that it's falling short because there's a few things that the bill does not do. they say that it does not require enough of what has been called a mandate, making more people buy insurance. that would spread the cost over many more people. and they also said that if you have more people included in
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medicaid, which is the government-sponsored health care program, that that causes problems because we know that today, medicare for seniors and medicaid for low-income people pays hospitals and doctors at a lower rate than the actual cost of care. so, if you expand that the cost gets spread around. so those are just a couple of examples from each side at how they look at the same piece of legislation, the senate finance committee bill, and come one very different conclusions about what it will do to single individuals who own -- who will buy health insurance and families who have these sorts of plans. so it's a real chance to have a heated debate right before a critical vote and that is always an intense play when it comes to trying to time things for politics, contessa. >> tell me where we stand on this. if the senate finance committee goes in and votes on this and the bill goes through, let's assume it does go through the senate finance committee, what we get out of the finance committee is not necessarily the legislation we are going to see in terms of health care reform
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permanently, is it? >> exactly right on that, because what happens is the finance committee bill, which could, in fact, we could say has a strong advantage in the vote, simply because the way the committee is stacked, there are more democrats than republicans on the committee, but what happens next is work is going on behind-the-scenes with senate majority leader harry reid and the white house and top democrats in congress who are negotiating details of what the full bill would look like. and that would include what we have been talking about with senator baucus' committee. and remember back to when the health committee, the one that had been chaired by senator kennedy for so many years and overseen by chris dodd, they had a plan as well, putting those together. so even though the specifics of the senate finance committee bill won't survive all of these next steps, this is politically a way to again focus a light on how much will it cost and that is certainly one of the arguments republicans have been making and now hearing loud and clear from the health insurance industry. >> kelly, thank you very much
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for bringing us up to date. as the white house weighs sending more troops to afghanistan, a new army study about weapons failures raises concerns about the safety of the troops already in the fight. specifically, a potential problem with some of the weapons that american men and women on the front lines rely on, the m-4 rifle. nbc news chief pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski is in afghanistan, joins me now from kabul. how frequently are there problems with these type of rifles? >> reporter: >> reporter: well, any time in combat, you are going to have situations where weapons do lock up for various reasons. and in this case, it involved a battle in july of 2008 here in afghanistan, the battle of winnot in which nine american soldiers were killed and 27 more wounded. a military historian interviewed some of the surviving soldiers, who said that the battle was so intense, they fired so many shots that their -- the barrels on their guns got so hot, they actually had to drop them. and in that case, one or two of the m-4s jammed up, and also a
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machine gun jammed up in the process. now, the army says in two investigations into that battle, there was no mention of any weapons jamming up. so, it's not clear that when the weapons jammed, it led to the death or injury of any of those soldiers. nevertheless, when you're caught in the middle of a firefight, as nbc's richard engel was when he was embedded with american soldiers here in afghanistan, you know, it's always disconcerting when, as you will see here, their weapons lock up. >> private jordan taylor's gun is jamming. >> hey, hey, drew 40 is down. >> the weapons are new. but with all the wear and tear, they sometimes lock up. a machine gun isn't working either. >> reporter: now, the army insists that characteristically, the m-4 is a reliable weapon, all though you know, about 1 to 0% of those in the army who have been polled said they would
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rather have a better weapon than the m-4. the army says they are always looking to improve the weapons but it doesn't appear that there are any inherent characteristics to the m-4 that would necessarily cause them to jam up. contessa? >> we get this report on top of the current debate that's going on about whether to accede to general mcchrystal's request for some 60,000 troops. ann curry did an interview with the secretary of state hillary clinton and clinton implied that if the united states does not send more soldiers, that possibly would be immoral to keep even the ones we have there. let me play it. >> what is going on in this analysis is the kind of deep, drift-down investigation of assumption, because when we make this decision, when we recommend to the president what we believe he should do, we're going to be all-in. >> where do we stand right now,
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in terms of the advice that the president is getting from the men and the women who currently serve in afghanistan and are responsible for the men and women putting their lives at stake every day? >> reporter: well, you know, so far there have been at least ten of these assessment meetings with the president and many of his top leadership, including general stan mcchrystal, the top u.s. military commander here in afghanistan, who has appeared via video teleconference during those sessions in the white house. and apparently, most of that debate over the assessment itself and determining the way ahead is pretty much complete. and it will still be several weeks before the president makes his final decision. stan mcchrystal says he needs an additional 40,000 troops or more and senator -- i mean, secretary of state, excuse me, hillary clinton, is apparently one of those sitting at that table who is arguing for more forces,
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while others are thinking that the the u.s. should withdraw from their aggressive military position here and concentrate more on counterterrorism, particularly in pakistan in this region. it will all be up to the president and we should know that in about three or four weeks, according to the white house. >> all right, jim miklaszewski, thanks, sir. next in nuclear-armed pakistan, the taliban is threatening that country's government, making good on threats to launch attacks all across the nation. for the fourth time in less than a week, suicide bombers carried out a deadly attack this time killing 41 people in a district near the swat valley. meantime, pakistani fighter jets are attacking taliban hideouts near its border with afghanistan. all this comes after a 22-hour hostage standoff inside pakistan's version of the pentagon over the weekend. concerns of security here at home, authorities worry foreign visitors who overstay their visas could go undetected. for instance, 19-year-old
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jordanian has san sam maddie overstayed his tourist visa and now stands accused of plotting to blow up a dallas skyscraper n 2008 alone, immigration officials say 2.9 million foreign visitors on temporary visas, like smadi's, came into the u.s. and never officially left. nbc news justice correspondent pete williams joins me now. is this some kind of loophole? >> it is and a loophole that the department of homeland security and congress have been trying to close. the other side of it is well taken care of by now. it has been a slow process. one of the key recommendations of the 9/11 commission. but now, when every foreign visitor comes into the u.s. with a visa, as soon as they enter, as soon as they come in and get off the men or the ship or however they enter the country, they are fingerprinted and photographed. little picture is taken digitally. all ten prints are run with an electronic device that checks them against a database. so, that clearly is where the government has placed its
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priority, on trying to keep the wrong people from coming in, but this other side is what this case from texas has dramatized is that some people here on a visa stay too long and the system basically lose track. now, let me just show you something that's on the department of homeland security's website now. when you come into the u.s., the website tells you what to expect when departing. and it says you should return a form i-94 or i-94w to the airline or ship representative. this is sort of like the landing card in reverse when you come into the u.s. that's how it works now. for a time, the department of homeland security tried an electronic kiosk at airports and for a time, there was a pilot program to sort of do u.s. visit arrival in reverse, take fingerprints or visitors to again check you against the database that pilot program has since been abandoned and now an all-paper is system but more or less voluntary. you can still get on the plane and still get on the boat even if you don't turn those forms in
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and that is the essence of the problem. plus, all the people that leave the country by driving, they are not as efficiently tracked. so, there's a lot of work yet to be done here. >> that san understatement. wow. pete, thanks for bringing this to our attention. coming up, is rush limbaugh part of the republican party in the leader of the ditto heads has something to say. you will hear part of that coming up. oprah winfrey being sued by a flight attendant over allegations of sex on board oprah's private plane. we will tell you the story. a lot of marchers for gay rights in washington are angry at president obama and his administration for what they see as a delay in action. would it be any different if a republican had been elected in the white house in the republicans respond, next on msnbc. >> they say that this country is equal, but it is not equal. ♪
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obama, i know that you're listening. are you listening? >> well, that was lady gaga and her poker face, screamed or spoke at the national equality rally from gay rights in washington. many of the marchers here said they are disappointed with the delay from the white house on campaign promises. in fact, they want the president to allow gay military members to serve openly. they want to ban discrimination of gays in the workforce and they ask, how is it any different than life with republicans in power? joining me now, republican strategist brad lakeman and charles moron with the log cabin republicans which works for gays in the gop. good to see both of you today. >> thank you. >> thank you.
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>> let me ask you, brad what, is your stand on gays serving openly in the military? >> i think it's up to the military to make that decision. they are the ones who have to implement policy. certainly, there are gays in the military today by the thousands and they serve honorably and really is a decision, a tough decision the military has to make to the political people as to what the ultimate decision should be. >> and what about the federal ban on discrimination of gays in the workplace? >> there should not be discrimination of any kind in the workplace. republicans believe that we believe in freedom of contract as well that gays should be able to contract regarding states' rights, regarding contractual relationships. so, there's a lot of things that the republicans are for but the democrats are painting themselves in a box because they are making all these promises, yet not delivering on anything. >> yeah, charles, when you are looking at ago and who takes action on issues of gay rights is this in the republican platform? >> well, quite honestly, we have got a lot of republicans who are
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moving forward to try to implement some of these things that brad was just discussing. right now the only organization that has a federal lawsuit pending challenging the department of defense's don't ask, don't tell policy is log cabin republicans. one of the main co-sponsors of legislation trying to repeal it in the congress, a republican congresswoman from florida, ileana ros-lehtinen. we have republican co-sponsorships, 44 republicans vote for the dod authorization bill that would have put in place hate crimes protection for gays and lesbians. we have a long track record of bringing together republicans and democrats on bipartisan ways to go ahead and push the type of legislation through congress, but all we're getting is more feet dragging and empty promises from the obama administration. >> let me play what president obama said about gays serving openly in the military. >> we are moving ahead on don't ask, don't tell.
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[ applause ] we should not be punishing patriotic americans who stepped forward to serve this country. we should be celebrating their willingness to show such courage and self-nessness on behalf of their fellow citizens, especially when we are fighting two wars. >> when he says we are moving ahead on don't ask, don't tell, what does that mean to you here, charles? >> contessa, the president of the united states just said to the largest gathering of the umbrella organization of the hrc that he is working to defeat and to date down don't ask, don't tell. at the same time, president obama has instructed his justice department to fight our lawsuit to keep -- for the obama administration supporting, keeping don't ask, don't tell in place. what way is it? he says one thing but rahm emanuel and the white house are digging their heels in, slowing down any progress on passage of our legislation. he says one thing, he does something completely different. >> know, it's interest because, brad, there seems to be a big
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divide here on both sides. when republicans had control of congress, when there was a republican in the white house, we saw things like the defense of marriage act which makes it very clear that gay people have no right to marry. is it time for the republicans to join some of the democrats taking a strong stand and saying this gay rights are human rights? >> look, gay rights -- gay rights are human rights. come on. gays are human beings the same as anyone else. the question is where do we go? with regard to marriage, republicans are very clear, marrage is between a man and a woman but that is not to say that we don't recognize the rights, the contractual rights that everybody should have. the argument here is not really between the politicians, the argument on marriage is between the church and the state. that's -- that's the problem and nobody's making that argument. the gays should be trying to lobby their churches to make that distinction. >> but here's the thing, i
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didn't get married in a church, i just cared that the government recognizes my marriage that's what i care b i don't care about a church recognizing my marriage, i care about the government recognizing my marriage. and as it stands right now, on a federal level, the government doesn't. is it time to put that into the republican platform? >> contessa, the issue here is we are not forcing churches to marry anybody that they don't want to. >> right. it is a civil issue. >> we did away with that with segregation. didn't force churches to marry couples of a different racial background. it didn't happen then and it's not going to happen now, if the federal government decides that it wants to recognize relationships between two men or two women. there's going to be no pushing of any kind of agenda on churches. they have the ability to continue making this decision for themselves. >> absolutely. but in terms of the republican platform, i'm asking is it time to include that issue on the republican platform? >> it is a very conservative nature to say that power should be vested in one's fam and that our families are the building
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blocks of our communities that is a conservative principle and all we are asking for. republicans and gays as lesbians believe in family value bus our families are just as important and valid as a traditional male/female family, we are not that different from our colleague in the republican party. we just -- we're family, too, and we have the same rights and needs that everybody else has as well. and we need to be included in the table, because this is how we are going to keep the republican party competitive with changing society. >> charles, i appreciate your time. brad, i appreciate your time, as always. thank you. >> thank you. my big questions today on gay rights, why the presidential delay on don't ask, don't tell? and why the congressional delay on repealing the defense of marriage act? and why the american delay on embracing gay rights as human rights? we are certainly lagging behind a lot of other country cans around the nation, in terms of supporting gay rights. a wild shootout near the campus of toledo sends pay the
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tropes running and it is all caught on camera. that coming up. a spiritual retreat turns deadly at a sweat lodge in arizona. we will tell you what happened there. stay with us. you are watching msnbc. thinking about mutual funds-- think about this: the best place to buy one may not be a mutual fund company at all. instead of emphasizing their funds, td ameritrade has tools that can help you choose funds from the leading fund companies. there's even a "recommended" list by the independent experts at morningstar associates. so you can get a fund that matches your objectives
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we both look to reclast. you've gotta ask your doctor! or call 1-866-51-reclast. year-long protection for on-the-go women. well, police in toledo, ohio, are looking for at least five suspects after a wild west-style shootout at a local bar near the university of toledo, ohio, campus. [ gunfire ] [ inaudible ]. >> look at that it all began after a bar employee asked the man who was trying to sell drugs to leave. at least 17 shots were fired, police say. and then as you can see, everybody clears out. and look at what happens outside -- or don't look at what happens outside the bar. anyway, police -- [ gunshots ]
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so the action just continues there outside. you can see that guy has a weapon right in his hand. police say the bar was littered with shell casings, a door riddled with bullets, but amazingly, no one got hurt in all of that. investigators in arizona are looking into the possibility of criminal negligence after two people died and more than a dozen others got sick at a sweat lodge retreat. it was part of a $9,000 week-long self-help getaway. so, the people who paid to do this fast for several days, then they go into this lodge to take part in a native american ritual, seeking cleansing through steam. well, police believe up to 60 people were crammed in that small, crudely-built lodge in arizona for as long as two hours before someone noticed there was a problem and called 911. >> people aren't breathing. no pulse. in their 50s. >> in their 50s?
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>> one's a girl. >> one male, one female? >> yeah. >> the event was led by self-help guru james arthur ray, who called it a spiritual warrior retreat. so far, he has refused to talk to authorities. when we return, rush limbaugh goes one-on-one with the "today" show's jamie gangel about his ambitions within the republican party. is the talk show giant leading the gop and does he want to? is house speaker nancy pelosi putting herself further at odds with those conservative blue dog democrats in her up party by supporting the creation of a consumer protection agency? i mean, how could anybody take a stand against protecting consumers? we will be right back. (announcer) that ball is going, going, gone!
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kathleen sebelius" because she wants people to get swine flu shots. nbc's jamie gangel sat down with limbaugh for this rare interview. here is what he had to say about the state of the gop. >> are you the leader of the republican party? >> i am not the lead. i don't want to be the leader of the republican party. these people think they can discredit the republican party by making me the head of it. all they're doing is elevating me. it's silly for them to keep talking about how i'm the leader of anything. it's just create morgue curiosity about me, 21 years more popular than ever, lord thank you for my enemies. the republican party nominated the ideal, the perfect mr. republican candidate in 2008, john mccain. he was the guy that was going to go get the moderates. he was going to get the independents. he was going to walk across ate yell. he could work with the democrats. the republicans got shellacked. the republican party is not a party of liberal, independent moderates.
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the republican party wins when it is unabashedly conservative and it is going to continue to lose. it is going to continue to lose until it realizes that. >> with me now to talk about the future of the gop and rushing, democratic strategist julian epstein and joe watkins, a republican strategist and msnbc political analyst. j julian, the thing i don't get, republicans had eight years in the white house, years in congress, a republican president, republican-controlled congress to be conservative, yet we saw a massive expansion of the federal government. are you surprised to hear rush bim law say that? >> well, yeah, we had a massive expansion of the federal government. we went on a spending spree and republicans, unlike democrats now, didn't pay for any of it didn't pay for prescription drug, didn't pay for the iraqi war, didn't fight tax cuts. now republicans are on a kamikaze mission. while limbaugh is not the nominee of the republican party he is the spiritual leader of the republican party, most people and pollsters can't name
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what the republican party is for today. don't know hot leader of the party is and don't know what the republican party stands for and that is why you only hear the messages coming through from the conservative side, things like the movement, barack obama wasn't born in the united states, the birther movement. nancy pelosi, first speaker of the united states house of representatives needs to be put in her place. barack obama should not speak at a school. we will oppose anything on health care. we will oppose the economic recovery plan t is all negative. >> here's the thing if that's true, joe that were uns can't say what the party is for, they certainly can repeat those talking points. and so the people who get the most traction do seem to be the big talkers. why is that? >> of course, if people are listening because they want direction and right now, the americans know, whether they are republicans or democrats, nearly 10% are unemployed. if you are young, the numbers is higher, some states in the country as high as 15%. >> but jo joe that sunder
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president bush. >> now, barack obama is the president of the united states and the buck stops with him. the democrats control the house and the senate. people want to see what they are going to do the republican does have something to say, they say democrats are not getting the job done. as we see the rates of unemployment go higher and people not happy about their situation, clearly they are going to be looking at the republican party for leadership and guidance and they are going to give a lot of republicans a chance in 2010. >> but yo is making my point here, contessa. joe is make mike point. the only thing joe can say and one of the smartest republican strategists out there. >> thanks, julian. >> inherited a terrible economic cation from the republicans. joe say what the republicans are on health care. >> in all fairness, i didn't ask him because i'm really -- for this particular moment, i want to talk about who sets the talking point? who sets the agenda for the conservatives? i mean, here is another republican who get a lot of attention, michael steele, as the head of the rnc. let me play what rush had to say about michael steele.
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>> gop party chairman michael steele, at his peril, he criticized you, he said you were just an entertainer and he said you were incendiary and divisive. >> that's right. >> you went after him. i've never seen anyone apologize quite so quickly. >> well, you know, you'd have to ask him why he apologized but the reason i went after him is not because he said those things about me, it is because he is off message. michael steele should be out there raising money and planning long ways to get people to vote for republicans. >> now, joe, for rush limbaugh to criticize michael steele for being off message, that certainly sounds like something a party leader would say. >> well, rush limbaugh has 20 million or more listeners who listen to him every single day, so he is somebody who clearly is a force in america. >> do you wish that weren't the case? >> say that again? >> do you wish that weren't the case? do you wish he were not so influential among conservatives? >> no you know what the good thing is about this country? anybody can have a chance to say
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what it is in their heart, people can listen to people, whether they are on the right or the left or the middle. michael steele is the head of the republican party. he is doing an excellent job of raising money. he knows that the key thing is to raise money to win back those house seats and senate seats and governor seats in the year 2010 that is his primary job and it is a tough job but he is getting it done. you look at the numbers, the amount of money he is raising shows that there is real traction and getting the job done. >> julian, joe, gentlemen, thank you. >> thanks so much, contessa. rush limbaugh is in a controversy right now over his bid to buy the st. louis rams. espn reports the players' union is against the purchase. reverend al sharpton complained to the nfl. coming up tomorrow the "today" show and on msnbc, rush's reaction, part two of jamie gangle's interview with limbaugh tomorrow. today, conservative groups protested near a new jersey school against what they called the indoctrination of children. the controversy began after children at the school celebrated president obama with a singing performance.
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and that song got a lot of attention when it was posted on youtube last moment. ♪ >> it a whole song dedicated to praising the president and critics say the performance shows teachers force school children to idolize the president. this morning, about 70 protesters sang patriotic anthems and chanted "free children, free mind." house speaker nancy pelosi backing the creation of a consumer protection agency that would protect americans from abuses by banks and other financial organizations. it would regulate products such as credit cards and home loans. sounds like a simple idea and a necessary one, but it puts pelosi at odds with those conservative members of her own party, the aptly named blue dog democrats. joining me now, cq
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adrielle, explain to me why blue dog democrats would take a stand against an agency aimed at protecting consumers for the kind of things we saw the last year and quite honestly, ton see here with the crazy credit card fees and banks charging just extraordinary amounts on overdraft fees. >> i don't think they are opposed philosophically with protecting consumers they are afraid of creating a new agency of regulator. they are echoing concerns saying there are adequate consumer protection laws but not effective. >> if we look at what could currently take the place of a planned creation of a consumer protection agency what do they point to in terms of agency who by the way, if they -- if this is a case, somebody's in charge and didn't do it we ought to be going down that front. >> well there is some talk already about creating maybe a council, which is something less than a government bureaucracy,
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but would keep an eye on all forms of consumer lending, on installment loans, on credit cards, but this goes very much against what the obama administration is trying to do the creation of this agency was a central tenent of this package they are really hoping to get through the congress this fall that would is set totally new ground rules for how wall street and banks operate. >> the interesting thing is and i am not one for big government, but i just don't understand how it's okay for banks to rape their customers financially and not take a stand against it it the blue dog democrats this effort is led by representative walt minnick of idaho, do they just not want to add another a new agency and if so, go back to another agency? who do you go to at this point saying you allow these banks to take the customers for a ride? >> i think is a big iter debate to create a pure crockcracy. it goes back to who you are
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blaming for the financial collapse last year. some believe and the bankers will tell you it wasn't their fault. some feel, congressman minnick, feel it was the work of unscrupulous mortgage originators created the too wood good to be true subprime. who do you blame for the financial crisis and this all stems from that? >> all right. good of you to join us today, adriel. thank you. today is columbus day, a federal holiday and there are parades from new york city to ohio, but not everybody is celebrating here. as a matter of fact, some of the parks -- some parts of the country don't even recognize columbus day. celebrations, in fact, may not be long for this world. take, for example, what some grad grade school students are learning about columbus a fourth grade class in pittsburgh put columbus on trial for thievery, accused of misrepresenting the spanish crown. the children found him guilty an sentenced christopher columbus to life in prison. other teach have stopped saying columbus discovered america,
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since people were already here when his three ships eventually arrived. still ahead aly if the attendant sues over sex allegations on the private plane of oprah winfrey.'s courtney haze lit joins us next after a quick joins us next after a quick break. sea salts vary in color and taste. one tops them all. adding it helps us use less salt than before in campbell's tomato soup while keeping the famous flavor. ♪ so many, many reasons ♪ it's so m'm! m'm! good! ♪
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on potential out-of-pocket expenses... with an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan... insured by united healthcare insurance company. call now for your free information kit... and medicare guide and find out... how you could start saving. oprah winfrey, and sex lies, adding up to trouble for the queen of day time. she is being sueded by former flight attendant on the private jet. she says she was fired after she was accused of having sex with a married pilot on board the plane in june. she is denying the allegations that she had sex. courtney hazlett who writes the scoop column for joins me now she is saying she got fired because she wasn't supposed to be having sex and she says, no, i didn't have sex? >> this is what she is asserting in this lawsuit. she said she was fired unjustly. she claims she did not have sex
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on the plane. i can't believe i just said that she claims she passed a lie detector test proving these facts and she is asking for $316,000 from oprah winfrey. now, it's important to point out i spoke with representatives from harp poe, oprah's production company, they said she haven't been served with papers yet. until that happens there is nothing for them to even comment on this is all just a report, this came from the "chicago sun-times" reporting that this had taken police and until there are actual papers land in front of oprah, you are not going to hear t. >> can't a boss fire you for what ever reason they want to? >> well, i mean, within certain limitation, can't fire you just because they are having a bad day, but i suppose if she wants to fire her for doing this, it is probably within her rights. it is hard to same i think what's interesting here is the dollar amount. >> yeah. >> if you are going to try to ex-tort oprah win frirks i would think would you ask for more than $316,000. it is just an odd amount to be going after.
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>> and the thing is that extortion implies something illegal is happening. if she is filing papers and this is what she wants, for $316,000, how many years would a flight attendant, even for oprah winfrey on a private plane, how many years would you have to work to do that four, five, six, i don't know. >> who is to say? at the end of the day, another one of these nuisances, at the moment, for oprah winfrey. she has bigger fish to fry. >> you are on it. >> taking care of it for you. >> you are going to come back? >> you will be the first to know. >> give me the big update. hold you to that don't make promises you can't keep. tamron might want you first, but i expect you here. did you see this? this is the bernie madoff? who is going to show up like bernie madoff. talk about a real scare. bernie madoff mask is a big rage this year. one manufacturer says it has distributed more than 15,000 across the country and that they will be outsold by michael
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jackson's mask. >> you think it looks that much like him. come on, dothy of the -- richard nixon, his mask really looks like richard nixon, bernie madoff, not so much. up next, president obama heads to new orleans later this week to survey the city's recovery, four years after hurricane katrina. will the visit do more to energize or polarize a city struggling to get back on its feet? and cot surprise attack from the health insurance industry derail health care reform? senator bill nelson joins tamron hall and david shuster at the top of the hour on msnbc. if you think all batteries are the same, consider this:
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president obama's heading to new orleans this week to get an update on the recovery since hurricane katrina. not everyone is happy with the trip. they say it is simply not enough. with me now, congressman steve salaries. congressman, good to see you. approximately making two big
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events when he goes to new orleans on thursday. some of the criticism i have read, the agenda is too light. what do you make of what he has on the eye tinery? >> a lot of us here in new orleans want the president to actually see some of the issues we are dealing with on the ground, not necessarily some little photo op, town hall meeting talking to people, nice to know he will be talking to people but until you actually see the issues on the ground and go to the place, the breach wherehe levees broke and see the people, that is something we want the president to come down and do, not something he did for candidate for office but now he is president, we want him to come on the ground and spend some real quality time to help us with the recovery issues we are still grappling with. >> congressman, the white house says in the five visits president obama has already made in times past, both as a senator and as a presidential candidate,
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that he has seep a lot of what new orleans is challenged by, a lot of the obstacles but particularly, looking forward to the town hall because it is an opportunity for the people who are living new orleans every day to express to them what is the utmost concern. >> yeah, and i think that what people in new orleans would tell the president is you're not going to be able to see some of those issues sitting in a school gym. you are going to actually is to go out onto the ground, walk the streets, those areas, where we are still trying to and struggling to get help from the federal government that was promised. in fact, president obama, when avenues candidate for office, promised some very specific things, like category 5 flood protection, like coastal restoration. we still don't have those things yet. and so, maybe the president needs to see a little bit more on the ground what those issues are so that we can get those real commitments from him, now these president and in a position to help us with these issues specifically. >> interesting, too, i called the white house before i was doing this interview with you
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and they said the other thing they wanted to point out they had other secretaries, housing and urban secretary, to fan out, see some of those be issues. what is interesting, i interviewed your colleague, conkman bustane from southwestern louisiana, his complaint is different, he thinks new orleans is getting all attention. let me play what he told me. >> clearly new orleans is important and we need good category 5 protection in new orleans but the rest of the coastline is critical to the entire state, a and to new orleans, for that matter. >> do you think that new orleans gets an outrageous share of the attention, both from the president and from government, federal government officials? >> no, i think what we are all saying is this entire gulf coast region hasn't gotten the adequate attention directly from the president. if you look, both from southwest louisiana and congressman bustane's area, through new orleans and the coast to mississippi, our friends in mississippi where the eye of the storm also went over, the
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president hasn't seen any of those areas since he has been president, so it has been over ten months now. we want him to come on the ground, not something he did when he was a candidate back a year ago but when he was president, actually impact the decision that need to be made and give us those commitments he promised as a candidate and haven't seen yet. >> congressman, we will wait to see what the president's take away is after he get there is to new orleans and talk with the folks there. i appreciate your time today. thank you so much. >> thank you, appreciate it. >> that wraps this up hour for me, i'm contessa brewer. tamron hall and david schuster pick things up next. john mccain says his former running mate, sarah page, will remain a formidable force in the gop so, why are two former candidates turning down palin's offer to campaign for them? coming up in the palin chronicles.
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